Yesterday morning, my husband took the boys to do a few things and I went for a run. During the run, I was thinking of various “plans” for the day (which was predicted to be extremely hot): I could take the boys to that indoor pool, which has a big waterslide and a current pool; if we did that, we would be just a few blocks away from the big fabric store and I have been wanting to buy some fabric to make a sundress; we would also be near Fred Meyer and we could take in all those rolls of film that we’ve had rolling around the cabinet for years (what’s even on them? no idea). And then, I reminded myself of what I really know is the best plan for the day: Do Less; right, now I’m breathing easier and my shoulders are relaxing away from my ears…

(a few minutes later)

Another plan: I could pack up a picnic and load the boys in the car and we could drive for about an hour and hike in a mile and go to that swimming hole that’s supposed to be amazing (never mind that they just got back yesterday from a two-day backpacking trip and many hours in the car). And then I remembered what is usually the best plan, when there is nothing that “needs” to get done: Do Less.

Twenty minutes later – and several plans later – I end my run and have decided on a plan for the day which is: nothing much.

And how did the day end up looking? Well, it certainly didn’t look like nothing much was going on. There was: cooking (me) and cleaning (me) and reading (all of us together) and card playing (all) and playing with a neighbor (boys) and making watermelon lemonade (all) and making ice cream (all) and the invention of a indoor frisbee golf course that uses a knit wool ball instead of a frisbee (boys) and more…but it all came from the space created by the decision to¬†do less & nothing much.

Giving our families time and space for a day to evolve, for boredom to set in (because there was that, too) and to see what comes is a true gift, and a hard thing to remember, especially when there are so many fun and good things to do (hikes and swimming holes and…). The outings and day trips are great, and they have their place for sure, but, often, the best “plan” for the day is no plan and summer (and weekends), with it’s abundance of time, is a great place to practice doing less. So, if you’re still in summer mode, give a nothing much day a try and if you’re already in back-t0-school mode, reserve a weekend day for doing less. And let me know how it goes.

*Want to root more deeply in Do Less? Sign up for Simplicity Parenting 101 and find a tribe of like-minded parents who want to buck the trend of doing more.